April 23, 2013

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Dutchess County reports first illegal e-cigarette sale to a minor

POUGHKEEPSIE – The Dutchess County Health Department has issued its first documented violation for sale of an electronic cigarette in New York State.

The violation was issued during routine Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act compliance checks last month.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices designed to look like regular tobacco cigarettes that work using an atomizer to heat liquid containing nicotine, turning it into a vapor that can be inhaled and creating a vapor that resembles cigarette smoke.  The electronic cigarettes can have potential health impacts since they contain nicotine and traces of toxic chemicals, including cancer-causing substances.

The sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18 is illegal in New York State effective January 1 of this year.

“We have made great progress in reducing youth initiation to smoking over the last decade,” said County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Caldwell. “Preventing children and teens from purchasing tobacco products as well as any new devices containing nicotine such as e-cigarettes helps ensure that progress continues.”

He said the county will work with local businesses to make sure they understand the rules and regulations about tobacco compliance. Since 2009, there has been a 25 percent reduction in the number of illegal tobacco product sales to minors, Caldwell said.

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